Sansevere: On Kyle Rudolph’s Legacy & the Future of the TE Position for the Vikings

A few seasons ago, Kyle Rudolph told me a story about his dad, who has been playing in the same fantasy football league since high school. It’s very old-school, this league. If you’re in it, you don’t rack up points for catches or yardage. It’s strictly a TD-scoring league.

“He doesn’t like it if I don’t catch touchdowns,” Rudolph said.

Rudolph’s dad drafted him in 2011, his rookie season, and has made sure he’s on his roster every season. That tells you Rudolph’s old man loves him because his kid rarely is among the league leaders in touchdowns and, ordinarily, you pass on guys who don’t score a slew of TDs.

Anyway, it was a nice story and Rudolph has meant more than touchdowns to the Vikings — much more.

He is one of the nicest and classiest guys the Vikings have ever had and he usually led the team in accolades for his off-the-field deeds.

Too bad money plays such a huge role in whether a veteran stays or goes. Rudolph wasn’t released by the Vikings because he no longer can play. He got the heave ho because the Vikings need money for others.

Now many are figuring Irv Smith Jr. becomes the Vikings’ top tight end. I am not of that belief.

The most complete tight end on the roster is Tyler Conklin, who showed that when he got to play late this past season. He can block. He can catch. He can knock players over after the catch.

Smith will have a significant role in the passing game, but Conklin could get more playing time because he does more.

It continues to be baffling the Vikings had Conklin on the roster for three seasons and didn’t know what they had.

If any doubt still exists, they will know for sure this season how much he can do.

Bob Sansevere hosts a daily podcast called The BS Show, which also is broadcast on radio stations in Duluth (KDAL), Hibbing (WNMT) and St. Cloud (WBHR).